Calling the thinkers for Natcon
My earlier post calling for the elite to step forward to share their brilliant minds for the good of the nation is likely to prove in vain. Who am I to make such a call but a noise in the wilderness of insanity. I am pleasantly surprised to read in the media that Ngiam Tong Dow has stepped up to the podium to make the same call. This time he was addressing the academia, the place called Ivory Tower, where brains are made of ivory unlike the peasants that are made of mud. Ngiam is inviting the intellectuals, the thinkers, huddling in their Ivory Tower to speak up, to share their precious wisdom and knowledge with the govt for a better future for all citizens.
Then I was slammed right in the face by the comments coming out of the Ivory Tower. Read these words very very carefully. I am quoting them from the Today paper. Eugene Tan, the SMU law professor, ‘cited the fear factor as a possible deterrent for academics to speak out.’ My eyeballs are rolling. Eugene also said, ‘some senior faculty “frown upon their colleagues being involved”, …They regard such involvement as purely non academic and not in keeping with the academic norms.”’
A Taiwan born analyst at NUS, Lee Der Horng said, ‘he found it strange that compared to other countries, academics here are not necessarily thought leaders, who drive discussion on public issues.’ Think he is right. Ours are text book academics whose views and interests are confined to the four walls of academia.
Can anyone wonder why protest or demonstrations on social and political issues are often led by students and notby the thinkers in the academia? But could the thinkers see that the Natcon is different, that the govt is extending an invitation to all Sinkies to speak out and tell the govt what they want for the future of Sin? If the academics are shrouded with fear from opening their gold gilded minds, the govt would have no choice but to ask the uncles and aunties in the market and hawker stalls what they would like Sin to be. And what the uncles and aunties decided, the Ivory Tower academics would have to live with it, if they don’t open their golden mouths. Or is it that the academia is filled with foreigners and they rather not be involved in local politics?